IT Synopsis: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.
Tagline: You’ll Float Too.
Release Date: September 8th, 2017 | Runtime: 2 hrs 15 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 4
IT is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen this year. The only other one that stands up with it is Get Out. It was extremely well-done, from the directing to the acting. It was a perfect mix of moments that make you laugh, and scenes that make you cringe. They did a great job on not relying on jump scares for every little thing like almost every other horror film released recently. It is dark and sad and hopeful and fierce all at once.
Really, there were only a few things in IT that I didn’t care for. Some of them can just be attributed to the fact that in comparison to the original IT, they come up lacking. Mostly, the actors. The main one being Pennywise himself. Bill Skarsgård had his own version of Pennywise, and I thoroughly approve of that. He did not try to imitate Tim Curry’s version. His Pennywise was much darker, and rang true as an insane evil. However, I honestly believe Curry’s version was scarier. (My partner commented that if they would have had a guy dress up in the suit and let Tim Curry be a voice-over, it would have been perfect.) Curry’s Pennywise was all the scarier because he could appear so weirdly evil and funny one moment, and be deadlighting you the next. Also, the Richie character seriously lacked Seth Green’s charisma. I know Richie is supposed to be an obnoxious snot, but Seth Green made Richie a funny obnoxious snot, and therein lies the difference!
On the other hand, I absolutely loved Sophia Lillis as Beverly. She did an amazing job. Lillis practically glows on the screen, and is completely believable. I couldn’t take my eyes away from her when she was on screen. I cheered (mentally, because movie theater!) for her on more than one occasion. I also applaud the choice to not overly sexualize her. Even the scenes where the boys were ogling her were very tame. This was a fantastic move in an age where people feel the need to push the envelope with sexuality in young girls. Whereas in the original IT movie, Bill was my favorite, Beverly definitely shines brightest this time around.
Speaking of Bill, Jaeden Libeberher does a great job. His performance is on par with Jonathan Landis’ in the original. The acting is spot on, and when Bill is openly hurting, I hurt with him. Likewise, Jeremy Ray Taylor did a great job as Ben. He was as believable as Sophia Lillis was. You just knew that Ben was a sweet kid with a good heart. This version of Eddie was better, as well. Mouthy little hypochondriac.
One of the only other things I didn’t like about IT was the way they shot Pennywise. The rapid-jerky-fast forward movements are overdone. Every flipping horror movie with a ghost/demon/evil does them lately. It wasn’t a deal-breaker, obviously, but the movie would have been great without it.
Overall, I really liked IT. It was considerably darker than the TV version, with far less camp, and left me curled up in my chair. At one point I had to consciously take my fingers away from my face because I was afraid I’d walk out of the theater with big fingerprints on my cheeks! I went into the movie trying to be open minded, but still fairly biased towards the original version. By the time I came out of the theater, I realized that this IT was just as good as the original, but not in the same way. I think fans will be able to appreciate both versions for what they bring to the table.